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How the Supreme Court’s Decision on Marriage Equality Affects Our Clients

Posted on Tuesday, June 30th, 2015 at 4:22 pm    

A few weeks ago, a Lawrence & Associates blog discussed the interplay between marriage and bankruptcy. At the time, Kentucky and Ohio were two of only four states in which courts had upheld bans against same-sex marriage, and we noted that a case before the United States Supreme Court could change the status of same-sex married couples in a bankruptcy:

At this time, same-sex couples are not allowed the right of marriage in either Kentucky or Ohio and therefore do not get the benefit of filing together. They do not get the cheaper filing rates of opposite-sex married couples, although the rules regarding household income are the same. The United States Supreme Court is currently considering this issue, so that rule may change. If so, we’ll update this blog in a different post to reflect that change.

supremecourtLast week, the United States Supreme Court ruled in Obergefell v. Hodges that same-sex couples have a right to marry under the United States Constitution. This landmark decision, similar to Brown v. Board of Education decades ago, advanced the goal of equality for all American citizens.

What Does this Mean for Bankruptcy Filers?

What this means for you depends on who you are. If you are not in, or about to enter, a same-sex marriage, then this ruling has no effect on your rights whatsoever. However, if you live in the Northern Kentucky or Southern Ohio areas, are in, or about to enter, a same-sex marriage, and are considering filing bankruptcy, then you have gained rights that had been previously denied to you. Insofar as it relates to a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you now have the right to file together, with only one filing fee. (This applies to both attorney fees and court costs.)

You will also be recognized as one household by the bankruptcy court once you have been married. By contrast, couples that are just dating are treated the same as roommates in the same household. Married couples, however, must list their spouse’s income on their bankruptcy, even if the spouse is not filing. This has no effect on the spouse’s credit, but it does affect one’s ability to file for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. A Chapter 7 debtor must be under median income for his or her household size in the state in which he or she lives. Household income includes a spouse’s income regardless of whether the spouse files. Thus, a same-sex couple may be forced to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy where before they could have filed separate Chapter 7s.

What Does this Mean for Those with an Injury?

In Workers’ Compensation, spouses of an injured worker do not have a claim for damages, so nothing will change for Workers’ Comp filers. In Personal Injury claims, however, a spouse historically has a right to damages called loss of consortium. This is the loss of the injured person’s household services, affection, ability to have sex, etc. Same-sex married couples are now going to be afforded the same loss of consortium rights that other married couples have enjoyed for centuries. Loss of consortium is a small factor for small injuries (and in fact can be worthless in many small injury claims), but is a major factor for major injuries, sometimes totaling millions of dollars. The adopted children of same-sex couples also enjoy a version of loss of consortium based upon the loss of a parent’s affection, or vice versa.

In disability claims, married same-sex couples will likely enjoy the same spousal benefits that opposite-sex married couples enjoy.

Find Out How the Supreme Court’s Ruling Affects You Personally Before Filing Bankruptcy

Being recognized as a same-sex couple can have beneficial or negative effects on any court action. At Lawrence & Associates, we give free consultations on all our cases. Please call us to get more information on how the Obergefell v. Hodges case applies to your legal proceeding. We take pride in representing Northern Kentucky and Greater Cincinnati couples. If you are getting married and have questions about bankruptcy, please give us a call today!


What Happens When I Surrender My House in Bankruptcy?

Posted on Wednesday, June 24th, 2015 at 1:20 pm    

Regardless of whether you file a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you have the option at the time of filing to keep or surrender your home. Many Northern Kentucky residents file bankruptcy especially for the purposes of keeping their homes, especially during the recent foreclosure crisis. However, others in the Northern Kentucky area file bankruptcy for the purpose of getting out from under crippling debts, which often includes the mortgage. People in that group will surrender their house in the bankruptcy, which means they give it back to the bank. This article talks about what happens when you decide to surrender your home.

The Process of Giving the Home Back

keys-400When you file your bankruptcy, you will have the option to surrender the house. If you file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you will use the Form 8 to make this choice. If you file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you must fill in the appropriate section of the Plan to surrender. In either event, the filing of the bankruptcy gives the mortgage company all the information they need to know they can take the house back.

However, the bank does not get to automatically take the house back. The automatic stay applies even to property you have surrendered in the bankruptcy, and will prevent the mortgage lender from taking the house without first asking the bankruptcy court for permission. Typically, mortgage companies will file a proof of claim and a motion for relief from stay with the bankruptcy court before it does anything else. You typically will not object to the motion for relief from stay if the debtor has surrendered the home, and the court will enter an order granting the motion.

After the mortgage company gets its order granting relief from stay, it still has to file a foreclosure action in state court. Even though you have surrendered the house, you will still get served with all the foreclosure paperwork. This is normal, and it does not mean you have to appear in court or file anything with the court. If you know you surrendered the property and have no intention of fighting to keep it, you can just throw all the papers sent to you in the recycling bin. Eventually, the mortgage company will get a judgment and a Master Commissioner’s sale will be set. The Master Commissioner’s sale is the date that the property will be taken out of your name and put into the buyer’s name.

Problems that Can Arise Before the Bank Takes the House Back

Many months can pass between the day you file your bankruptcy and the day the Master Commissioner’s sale takes place. During this time, you own the property and it is yours to maintain, regardless of whether you filed a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. This is both good and bad.

On the good side, since you own the house you are free to live in it up until the date of the Master Commissioner’s sale, and you can do so without paying anything to the mortgage company. This allows you to save the money you would normally pay toward rent or mortgage payments to give yourself a financial cushion going forward. Likewise, you can rent the property to someone and keep the rent payments (but make sure you are up front with the renter about the bankruptcy). However, if you choose this option, be ready to move your things quickly. If you enter the home after the Master Commissioner’s sale, you are trespassing.

On the bad side, you are responsible for maintaining the property and making payments to homeowner’s associations until the date of the master commissioner’s sale. If the city has an ordinance requiring the grass to be cut and they cite you for letting it grow too long, that citation is yours to pay. If the HOA makes an assessment against the homeowners after the bankruptcy but before the Master Commissioner’s sale, that is your assessment to pay. Remember that a bankruptcy only eliminates debts that exists before you filed, so debts like these that come up after the bankruptcy will not be covered by it. You cannot force the mortgage company to file the foreclosure quickly, and sometimes they wait a very long time.

Why it is Usually Better to Surrender the Home in Bankruptcy

There are other ways to allow the bank to take a home back. You could enter a short sale, or sign a “deed in lieu of foreclosure.” The problem with these solution is that they may be taxable to you. The IRS requires a tax paid for forgiveness of debt, so if the mortgage company writes off $100,000 of debt using these options, then you will owe the IRS taxes on $100,000.

A bankruptcy does not create a taxable event, although its effect is worse on your credit. Thus, you need to weigh your options prior to picking one of these alternatives.

Get Legal Advice Before Getting Rid of Your Home

Bankruptcy consultations are free, so take advantage of them. When Lawrence & Associates does a bankruptcy consultation, we do not charge you or ask you to sign a contract. If you decide to retain us, you can do so at a second appointment or at the first, whichever you choose. We take pride in representing Northern Kentucky and Greater Cincinnati residents, and we can advise you on how to best let go of a home that has become an albatross around your neck. Please give us a call today!


Bankruptcy Explained: What Type of Bankruptcy Should I File?

Posted on Friday, February 6th, 2015 at 9:04 am    

types of bankruptcyAdvice from an attorney is your best bet when deciding if you should file a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy.  Are you facing foreclosure from a bank like Wells Fargo, being sued for medical bills by a hospital like St. Elizabeth, or confronting a mountain of Capital One credit card debt? Filing a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy will end the harassing phone calls and letters. You must comply with the terms of any repayment agreement or you will lose these protections, so it is important to have strong legal guidance before agreeing to anything. Choosing the right kind of bankruptcy can mean the difference between keeping your house, keeping your car, keeping your money, or losing it all. Some of the things a Northern Kentucky Bankruptcy attorney will need to know is a client’s past income and current assets. Knowing the asset exemptions and median income levels of the client will help to make the decision easier.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

A bankruptcy lawyer’s first step will be to determine whether you are eligible for protection under Chapter 7. The 2005 revisions to the bankruptcy laws require that, to qualify to discharge debts under Chapter 7, you must submit to a “means test,” demonstrating to the court that you lack the means to repay your creditors in a Chapter 13 proceeding. We will conduct a means test and, if you qualify, we will prepare and file all documents required to complete the Chapter 7 process. We will carefully explain which debts can be eliminated, as well as which assets you can protect, so that you get the benefit you deserve.

In General, You Cannot File a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy If You…

  • have filed a bankruptcy in the last eight years
  • have assets with significant value that you don’t want to lose
  • have income over median for your household size in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

Make Sure to Assess The Value of Your Property Correctly

Figuring out how to correctly assess the value of your property, or the correct number for median income, can be a daunting task, and the consequences of making a mistake are very drastic. A Northern Kentucky Bankruptcy lawyer will make sure your bankruptcy is filed correctly so that you get the maximum benefit from your decision to file.

You Get Immediate Relief  After You File a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Once you file for protection, an automatic stay goes into effect, preventing your creditors from calling, writing or taking any other legal action to collect the debt. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition can also stop foreclosure proceedings, wage garnishments and repossession actions. With the help of a lawyer, in Kentucky, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceeding can generally be completed in 3 to 5 months.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

If you don’t qualify to permanently discharge debt under Chapter 7 or prefer to set up a new payment plan with your creditors, we will help you reorganize your debt in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing. We will prepare and file all the necessary paperwork to complete the process and will represent you in hearings or meetings with creditors, the bankruptcy trustee or the bankruptcy court. We will help you put together a reorganization plan and will review all proposed repayment plans to ensure they are appropriate.

You Get Immediate Relief  After You File a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

When you file for protection under Chapter 13, an automatic stay goes into effect, which prevents your creditors from calling, writing or using any other means to collect the debt, other than through the bankruptcy proceeding. The automatic stay will suspend foreclosure or repossession actions, as well as wage garnishments, giving you time to get back on your feet financially. In many instances, you will be able to reduce the amount you have to pay, sometimes to as little as a penny on the dollar, by entering into agreements with your creditors. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy can be ideal for someone with large medical bills or credit card debt, allowing you the opportunity to keep most or all of your assets and enter into payment arrangements that are workable.

Contact Us (859.371.5997) for a Free Consultation


Bankruptcy Explained: There Are Legal Solutions That Provide Debt Relief to Those Who Need It

Posted on Thursday, January 29th, 2015 at 2:37 pm    

fresh start bankruptcyThere are many reasons that individuals and families find they can no longer afford to pay monthly bills. Some may have recently gone through a divorce. Others have been injured at work or in an accident and are unable to earn an income. Many are facing increased interest rates on mortgages or credit cards and cannot keep up. There are also people who simply let spending get out of control and cannot find a way out. Have you received notice that your wages will be garnished due to delinquent payments on your financial obligations? Has the bank started foreclosure proceedings on your home? Is your car about to be repossessed? Or have you realized that try as you may, there is just no way for you to stay current on all of your bills? Regardless of the financial problems you are facing, it is important to realize that there are legal solutions to help you obtain debt relief.

Immediate Relief For Pressing Financial Problems

Above all, do not ignore your financial problems or lawsuits that creditors bring against you. These issues will not disappear. Your best option is to contact a bankruptcy attorney at the first sign of financial distress. Even if you are facing immediate foreclosure, repossession or wage garnishment, Lawrence & Associates can provide swift legal action to help protect you. Your start to a fresh financial future begins when you contact a Northern Kentucky bankruptcy lawyer. A bankruptcy attorney will help you file Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Good Fort Mitchell, Kentucky bankruptcy lawyers will take the time to fully explain your legal options and the bankruptcy process in an understandable way — not with complex legal jargon. Good bankruptcy attorneys will also provide advice on how to stop creditor harassment, garnishment, foreclosure and repossessions.

Contact Us (859.371.5997) for a Free Consultation


Important Considerations Regarding Debtors and Their Spouses in a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Kentucky

Posted on Friday, January 23rd, 2015 at 3:23 pm    

spouse bankruptcyWhen considering filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Kentucky, a debtor who is married needs to take into account how one’s marriage will affect his or her ability to file. For example, according to the U.S. Dept. of Justice, the state median family income for filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Kentucky is $40,020 for a single person household, while for a two person household, it is $46,815.[1] This is a particularly important factor which must be calculated when filing for bankruptcy. The bankruptcy Means Test is a formula used to determine whether your income is low enough for you to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy. High income filers who “fail” the means test may still file Chapter 13 bankruptcy as a way to discharge a portion of their debts, but it usually won’t wipe out their debts altogether.

Is the Debt in the Debtor’s Name or the Spouse’s Name?

The married debtor needs to determine whether the debts are solely in the debtor’s name, or if they are also in the debtor’s spouse’s name as well. Debts that were obtained in both spouses’ names will make each spouse jointly and severally liable for payment of that debt. Therefore, it is often necessary for both spouses to file for bankruptcy in order to avoid liability of the debt.

Conversely, if only one partner in a marriage is responsible for a debt, then generally only that spouse should file for bankruptcy. However, even in circumstances where only one spouse needs to file for bankruptcy, the debtor-spouse is still required to list his or her spouse’s income as part of the household income that is used in the Means Test. See e.g., In re McSparran, 410 B.R. 664 (Bankr. D. Mont. 2009) (unexplained failure to list non-filing spouse’s income was fatal to confirmation). Generally, this makes it more likely that the debtor’s household income will be greater than the allowed median family income, and consequently, make the debtor less likely to be eligible to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Determining Eligibility to File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Other factors used in determining eligibility for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy are known as adjustments. For example, a debtor’s household expenses are taken into consideration as a way to determine the debtor’s actual disposable income, and can have the effect of preserving a debtor’s eligibility to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy when the debtor’s household income is greater than the allowed median family income. The inclusion of the debtor’s household expenses will usually be factored into the Means Test by a debtor’s bankruptcy attorney, especially when the attorney is attempting to ensure that his or her client is eligible to file Chapter 7. However, one of the most overlooked “tools” available to a married debtor who is otherwise ineligible to file a Chapter 7 due in part to the inclusion of the debtor’s spouse’s income are Marital Adjustments. “The Marital Adjustment is the portion of a non debtor spouse’s income that is not paid on a regular basis to the household expenses of the debtor or debtor’s dependants.” (John P. Gustafson, The Chapter 13 Means Test:Line-by-Line, February 7, 2013).

This means that a debtor can deduct from the non-filing spouse’s income any amount used to pay for personal expenses that are separate from the debtor’s household expenses. These expenses, also known as “marital deduction expenses,” have the effect of reducing the debtor’s spouse’s income used in the Means Test to solely the amount that is used to contribute towards the debtor’s expenses or the debtor’s dependent’s expenses.

Marital Deduction Expenses

Although there is little case from the Kentucky Federal Courts regarding what qualifies as marital deduction expenses, most courts have generally found that the following can be considered marital deduction expenses:

  • Alimony Payments
  • Student Loan payments made by the non-filing spouse for his or her own student loans
  • Car payments for the non-filing spouse’s car
  • Credit Card payments for non-filing spouse’s credit cards.
  • Etc.

Therefore, although it is clear that there are many different ways in which a debtor could become eligible to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, it can be a rather daunting task for someone who is unfamiliar with the bankruptcy laws and requirements.

If you are attempting to make this determination on your own, or know someone else who is, please don’t hesitate to contact Lawrence & Associates. Our attorneys are extremely knowledgeable and dedicated to making sure that you are able to take advantage of all the protections that are afforded to you in a bankruptcy.

Contact Us (859.371.5997) for a Free Consultation

[1] http://www.justice.gov/ust/eo/bapcpa/20130501/bci_data/median_income_table.htm

Immediate Relief For Pressing Financial Problems

Above all, do not ignore your financial problems or lawsuits that creditors bring against you. These issues will not disappear. Your best option is to contact a bankruptcy attorney at the first sign of financial distress. Even if you are facing immediate foreclosure, repossession or wage garnishment, Lawrence & Associates can provide swift legal action to help protect you. Your start to a fresh financial future begins when you contact the bankruptcy law firm of Lawrence & Associates. Our firm helps clients file Chapter 7 bankruptcy and Chapter 13 bankruptcy. When you work with our firm, we will take the time to fully explain your legal options and the bankruptcy process in an understandable way — not with complex legal jargon. We can also provide advice on how to stop creditor harassment, garnishment, foreclosure and repossessions.


Should I Take Out New Debt Before a Bankruptcy? The Don’ts and the Don’ts

Posted on Wednesday, January 21st, 2015 at 4:23 pm    

bad faith debtShould you take out new debt just before filing bankruptcy? No. No no no no. Please don’t. For those who are looking for a short and easy answer from an attorney, look no further. For those who want to know how taking out new debt right before filing bankruptcy can ruin your chances for a discharge, read on.

Bankruptcies Have to be Filed in Good Faith

Bankruptcies need to be filled in good faith like debt must be taken out with the good faith that you intend to pay it back. Taking out a debt with intent to discharge it in bankruptcy makes both taking out the debt and filing the bankruptcy an exercise in bad faith. The law sets an arbitrary cut off for when a debt is presumed to have been taken out in bad faith. If you take the debt out within 90 days prior to filing a bankruptcy, there is a presumption that the debt will be non-dischargeable. If you charge a de minimus amount to a credit card – say you mistakenly ring up a $7 lunch on your Mastercard – it’s unlikely the creditor will pursue the matter in court. But racking up debts of more than $500 within that 90 days is almost certain to call the creditor’s attorneys into court with you.

Usually If You Take Out Debt Just Before a Bankruptcy, You Can’t Add That Debt to the Bankruptcy

The penalty for taking out debt prior to filing is usually that the debt is non-dischargeable. This means that you can’t get rid of the debt in bankruptcy. The problem is that the entire debt is non-dischargeable, not just the amount you charged within the 90 day period. Let’s assume you have $10,000 on a Discover Card, and you add another $600 to it about a month before you file. If Discover comes to court to enforce the non-dischargeability of the debt, you now have a $10,600 debt that survived the bankruptcy. In cases where the court feels the Debtor’s behavior was especially bad, the court could kick out the entire bankruptcy and prevent the Debtor from filing again.

But Circumstances Matter; Creditors Need to Prove Your Intention of Bad Faith

Not all debts incurred within 90 days prior to filing a bankruptcy fall are necessarily going to be bad faith debts. Circumstances matter, and the creditor has to prove that you intended to act in bad faith. Let’s say you have an American Express card that you regularly pay off at the end of the month. Suddenly you have a heart attack, which gets you a whole lot of medical bills that your insurance won’t pay. You’ve got to file a bankruptcy, and your AmEx is going to get roped in with the medical bills. You’d used the AmEx all the way up to the day of your heart attack, and you need to file the bankruptcy 60 days after the heart attack. Will the AmEx debt be considered bad faith? Absolutely not. A good Kenton County bankruptcy attorney will get both the AmEx bill and the medical bills discharged, and get you a fresh start on life.

You have to give your attorney full disclosure of any debts you’ve taken out prior to filing. Experienced bankruptcy attorneys, like those at Lawrence & Associates can advise you on the best way to handle your debts and the best timing in which to file your bankruptcy.

Contact Us (859.371.5997) for a Free Consultation

Providing You With Debt Relief Solutions Through Bankruptcy

Regardless of the reasons that brought you to financial distress, filing for bankruptcy does not make you a bad person. In fact, the government created bankruptcy in order to help people recover from unmanageable financial problems. At Lawrence & Associates, we help our clients understand how bankruptcy laws are made to protect them and will allow for a brighter financial future.

We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.

Immediate Relief For Pressing Financial Problems

Above all, do not ignore your financial problems or lawsuits that creditors bring against you. These issues will not disappear. Your best option is to contact a bankruptcy attorney at the first sign of financial distress. Even if you are facing immediate foreclosure, repossession or wage garnishment, Lawrence & Associates can provide swift legal action to help protect you. Your start to a fresh financial future begins when you contact the bankruptcy law firm of Lawrence & Associates. Our firm helps clients file Chapter 7 bankruptcy and Chapter 13 bankruptcy. When you work with our firm, we will take the time to fully explain your legal options and the bankruptcy process in an understandable way — not with complex legal jargon. We can also provide advice on how to stop creditor harassment, garnishment, foreclosure and repossessions.


The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) Protects Debtors From Harassment Such as Robo Call Abuse and Other Techniques

Posted on Thursday, January 15th, 2015 at 4:22 pm    

Robo CallsRecently, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act has become a big deal. This important law says that big banks, mortgage companies, and credit card companies cannot harass you when trying to collect a debt. Specifically, the TCPA doesn’t allow the creditors to call your cell phone without permission to do so. Robo calls that happen multiple times per day are especially frowned upon (although not outright illegal yet), and can result in big penalties for the creditor.

Example: Bank of American and the Coniglios of Florida

The TCPA is a powerful law, as is the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Either can make a creditor sorry for using abusive methods to collect a debt. Take, for example, the example of the Coniglios, a Florida couple that began receiving harassing calls from Bank of America. They sometimes received robocalls five times per day, all related to a mortgage they were behind on. Bank of America had the option to foreclose on the house, or to re-structure the mortgage so the Coniglios could get caught up, but it apparently chose to do neither. Instead, Bank of America allegedly decided to harass the Coniglios into giving up the home via robocall.  The Coniglios took them to court and they wound up receiving over $1,000,000 from Bank of America as a penalty for Bank of America’s conduct – an amount that came to approximately $1,500 per call!

Debt Harassment is Happening in Northern Kentucky Also

While the Coniglios’ case is unusual in size and scope, similar conduct by creditors causes Northern Kentucky families grief and hardship every day. Many times, this harassment forces families into bankruptcy and further hurts their credit. The emotional impact of the banks’ harassment only adds to the families’ stress from being financially strained.

If you or someone you know is suffering financially, or getting harassed by their lenders, know that you (or they) don’t have to suffer alone. A Northern Kentucky Bankruptcy Lawyer can help you!

Contact Us (859.371.5997) for a Free Consultation

Providing You With Debt Relief Solutions Through Bankruptcy

Regardless of the reasons that brought you to financial distress, filing for bankruptcy does not make you a bad person. In fact, the government created bankruptcy in order to help people recover from unmanageable financial problems. At Lawrence & Associates, we help our clients understand how bankruptcy laws are made to protect them and will allow for a brighter financial future.

We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.

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Know the Consequences of Sending Gifts, Payments, and Transfers to Family Before Filing for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Posted on Monday, December 22nd, 2014 at 2:33 pm    

Fraudulent TranfersOnce you file for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, the bankruptcy code provides a trustee to check into any assets that were transferred for up to a year before you filed. The trustee will be looking for “gifts” and “favorable payments.” A favorable repayments can show a preference in paying one debt over another.  A gift can show that a “fraudulent conveyance” was made. When a favorable payment or gift is paid to a family member or “insider”, the bankruptcy code is really harsh. Favorable payments and gifts to insiders can be looked at for up to two years before the bankruptcy was filed in most cases.  In Kentucky this can be extended to 5 years by the trustee using what is called a “strong arm” provision that allows trustees to use state law to go after preferences and fraudulent transfers.

Examples of Why You Need to be So Careful…

  1. Borrowing From a Close Relative for a Business – The borrower with the business intended to pay this relative back in a lump sum from a retirement account, but then it began looking like bankruptcy was imminent. This would create a double problem. The first problem is that exempt funds that would have ridden through the bankruptcy would have been converted to non-exempt funds. The second would be that the trustee pull that large lump sum payment back into the estate from the relative. From those reclaimed funds, the trustee would pay himself a percentage and the rest would have gone to unsecured creditors.
    Result… The retirement would be gone and the relative would remain largely unpaid (they would be treated the same as any other unsecured creditor and receive cents on the dollar).
  2. Securing a Personal Residence but Having a Considerable Amount of Unsecured Debt – Someone with considerable unsecured debt has their personal residence secured to the hilt, but they owned several acres in another state free and clear of any lien. –  It was important to this person to retain the out-of-state land because they wanted to give the land to someone else to keep it in the family.
    Result… Viewed as a fraudulent conveyance and the land would be taken and sold by the trustee with proceeds going to unsecured creditors.

These examples highlight the importance of sitting down with a northern kentucky bankruptcy lawyer practitioner who can help you with a comprehensive plan. Lawrence & Associates can provide swift legal action to help protect you and your family.

Contact Us (859.371.5997) for a Free Consultation

Providing You With Debt Relief Solutions Through Bankruptcy

Regardless of the reasons that brought you to financial distress, filing for bankruptcy does not make you a bad person. In fact, the government created bankruptcy in order to help people recover from unmanageable financial problems. At Lawrence & Associates, we help our clients understand how bankruptcy laws are made to protect them and will allow for a brighter financial future.

We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.


Tips For Filing Bankruptcy in Northern Kentucky During the Holidays

Posted on Thursday, December 11th, 2014 at 4:27 pm    

Holiday BankruptcyBelow are some thing to keep in mind this holiday Season if a bankruptcy is a possibility before the new year…

  1. Gifts –  Christmas gifts that are worth hundreds of dollars must be listed in your bankruptcy.
  2. Expensive Items Purchased –  Any items purchased to be kept in house or given away as a gift  to someone else has to be reported. Luxury items being purchased will raise red flags that could prevent you from discharging your debt. A luxury item is defined as something costing more the $650.
  3. Tax Refunds – Tax refunds are considered an asset and must be reported even if you do not know the exact amount you will be receiving.
  4. Home Equity – If you have a lot of equity in your home, it can limit the amount of exemption you can put towards your assets. Be very careful.

If you are planning to go bankrupt over the holidays, it would be good to consultant with a Northern Kentucky bankruptcy attorney as soon as possible.

At Lawrence & Associates, we help our clients understand how bankruptcy laws are made to protect them and will allow for a brighter financial future.

Contact Us (859.371.5997) for a Free Consultation


There’s a Lien on My Property; What Does that Mean?

Posted on Thursday, December 4th, 2014 at 4:30 pm    

lien on propertyIn Northern Kentucky and surrounding areas, creditors will sometimes sue over bills such as a Chase credit card or a St. Elizabeth hospital medical bill. Usually, these creditors are trying to garnish your wages, but sometimes the creditor will decide to put a judicial lien on your property. If that happens, there can be serious consequences. The creditor can try to force the sale of your home, and while the home remains unsold  interest will continue to accumulate. The equity you’ve worked hard to build in your home can disappear unless you taken action.

Act Quickly for Your Best Results

For most consumers, filing a bankruptcy is the best way to stop a credit card or medical bill lawsuit in its tracks. If you can, contact an attorney as soon as the complaint is filed, if not beforehand. This gives us the maximum amount of time in which to prepare for the bankruptcy and the best ability to prevent the lien in the first place. Once a lien is filed in Northern Kentucky, it is much harder to discharge the debt. Rather than being unsecured, the creditor with the lien on your property is potentially secured. Northern Kentucky Bankruptcy lawyers have the ability to strip some judicial liens based upon your equity in your property and the exemptions applicable to you.

Avoid the hassle of creditors and their liens! A free consultation  with Lawrence & Associates will help you decide what action to take.  We can also work together to stop foreclosures, repossessions, and lawsuits.

Contact Us (859.371.5997) for a Free Consultation

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